It's common for lots of people especially for those webmasters who operate multiple websites. Many hosting providers also announce to support multiple websites per single account. However, there're many choice to host multiple websites together other than shared hosting service. This article will compare the different solutions and find out how should you host multiple websites properly.
Shared Web Hosting
The most popular choice by lots of people. Most shared hosting plans allow to host multiple or even unlimited websites per single hosting account. Hence it's always the primary consideration when people have such requirements. The biggest advantage is we can manage everything centrally via low cost. We don't have to remember multiple user names for different accounts. Especially when we used the same website structure and need to apply regular maintenance/upgrade, we can handle the process efficiently.
How about the weakness? It's all about performance. We must understand all server resources are shared on the server. When we add a new site then there's less resource left. As always, there're hundreds of clients on same hosting server, if everybody host many sites in account then it's horrible sight. Also please note many shared hosting service set strict limitations to avoid flooding. Because you can not tell how will your sites be visited and if your account usage passed the server limitation, you will get warning or suspension notice easily. So unless you clearly understand how much server resource to be used then it's not recommended to put several websites under the same space especially for business websites.
A better choice from shared hosting. Normally you get dedicated hardware resource so you can utilize everything with no limitation. Unlike shared hosting where everything is controlled by hosting support, you have full access to server OS for vps hosting. In this way you can optimize the server accordingly based your website scripts. Although the service cost is much higher than shared service, you get more reliability and server control.
The biggest disadvantage is you find it hard to get a balance point between price and server quality. A high performance vps costs high while nothing can be guaranteed for cheap server service. You need a leading virtualization platform to ensure the server performance. We highly suggest use XEN, Virtuozzo and Hyper-V for reliable server service. Openvz is not good as we discussed from this earlier post.
Very similar to vps server except we don't have server access. We can understand reseller hosting as combination of multiple shared hosting accounts. The difference is we have reseller control panel to manage all accounts together and view it's performance directly. We can use it the same way as shared hosting but have more control and we get much more resources there because we pay more.
Comparing to regular shared hosting, there's less restriction. But since it's still under shared environment, once other people use more then you can not receive guaranteed performance. If you decide to use reseller option, make sure to find a reputable provider or you can run into problems easily like shared hosting.
The best but also the most expensive choice. You get no limitation in using all resources and you don't have to worry about any restriction like shared server. Especially when you need frequent server access to configure various services, dedicated server is the best solution. Dedicated server also provides the best security protection since just you on the same server. If you host some sensitive information or copyright protected materials, it's highly suggested using this service.
The only weakness is about the high cost. A cheap dedicated server monthly fee can afford one year's shared hosting service. It's not affordable choice for personal business unless you're highly profitable on those sites. Also, you're fully responsible for server security protection and monitoring because only you have access to it.
Find the right one
As described from above, for multiple simple and small websites, shared hosting is good enough but you need to evaluate carefully and ensure the shared resource will be enough. VPS and reseller hosting provide extra abilities but you have to find a reliable server provider. If you run a web development company and need to host lots of different websites, dedicated server would be idea choice because you get everything under control for professional and secure management.